Dentons has promoted its top US innovation officer to head up global innovation projects. John Fernandez will become the firm's first Global Chief Innovation Officer with the task of driving the firm’s innovation initiatives. Mr Fernandez has served as Dentons’ US Chief Innovation Officer and is also the global chair of Nextlaw Labs, an autonomous legal technology business accelerator wholly owned by Dentons. Nextlaw Labs works closely with the firm’s lawyers, professionals and clients to identify investment and co-development opportunities for new technologies that will transform the legal industry to deliver greater client value.
He has overseen the firm's Nextlaw Labs and the affiliate companies in the Nextlaw portfolio, collaborating on the founding of Nextlaw Labs and the unveiling of the suite of Nextlaw companies, including Nextlaw Referral Network, Nextlaw Public Affairs Network and more recently Nextlaw In-House Solutions. 'I am thrilled and honored to be appointed to this new position at a firm that has already made great strides towards innovation in delivering client services,' Mr Fernandez said. 'Already, Dentons is on its way to becoming synonymous with innovation in the legal profession.'
In August he was appointed to a one-year term on the governing council of the American Bar Association Centre for Innovation. The 14-member governing council, in conjunction with its advisory council, direct the activities of the ABA Center for Innovation. Prior to joining Dentons, Fernandez was Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development under President Obama. In that role, he transformed the Economic Development Administration into a 21st Century organisation and launched the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. John was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s regional innovation strategies.
Mayor of Bloomington
He also previously served as Mayor of Bloomington, Indiana, where he worked with the private sector to develop a vibrant business climate that fostered more than $243 million in private investments and creating more than 3700 jobs. He also developed an aggressive downtown revitalisation plan resulting in more than $100 million in new investments.
'Even before this appointment, in his role as chairman of Nextlaw Labs, John has helped Dentons become world-renowned as an innovator in the legal profession,' said Elliot Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons. 'Now we will unleash him to help us drive innovation in the Firm across the entire globe.'